March 27, 2011

imageAs longtime readers know, one of my longtime areas of interest are proximity-based sharing, a topic I most recently discussed in the context of AirDrop.. At CTIA, though, I got a chance to meet with Gogobeans, which is combining the notion of a Dropbox-like locker for personal content with Bump-like (or perhaps Color-like) – cloud-based detection of proximity. In Gogobeans’ case, rather than bumping together handsets, they are simply shaken at the same time. One advantage to this is that it facilitates one-to-many transactions; a speaker could share a presentation with an audience. Like Dropbox, Pogoplug, and others, Gogobeans also allows you to share based on e-mail addresses even if the recipient does not yet have the app, and then files shared show up in their locker once their account is claimed.

Gogobeans seems like a smart mashup of two kinds of services that are gaining popularity right now, but the personal cloud space is starting to get a bit crowded and the client-interaction space is a race for viral distribution. In terms of potential competition from either side, I’d see Dropbox introducing proximity-based sharing as an extension of its service more naturally than Bump introducing cloud-based storage.

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August 23, 2010

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There are products that make it and products that don’t. And then there are a few that exist in a vaporous limbo. The latter seems to be the case for Jook, a tiny and somewhat promising proximity-limited music sharing gadget with social networking ties. It debuted at CES 2009 – yes, more than two and a half years ago. An initiative of gaming peripheral maker Razer,.Jook’s Web site is still intact – frozen in time without any update or  explanation as to whether it has been subject to extended gestation or cancelled.

Perhaps the company was concerned about legal action from the RIAA. But a similar product did come to market –  the i2i Stream from Aerielle that allowed someone to share audio with people up to 30 feet away. Or perhaps the company figured that the illuminated Jook would have trouble competing with a simple headphone splitter cable.

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